Posted by: Debra Kolkka | December 16, 2011

The best deal in Siena

Siena is another of my favourite places to visit in Italy. By car it is relatively easy to reach from Bagni di Lucca. On a recent trip in that direction I missed the turn off from the A1 heading from Florence because the exit name has changed from Florence Certosa to Florence Imprunetta. These things happen.

If you are using public transport to get from Florence to Siena, take the bus ( the SITA bus leaves from beside the station). It is quicker than the train and the bus drops you close to the centre of town.

There are lots of fabulous things to see in Siena. It is possible to buy, for the measly sum of 10 euro, a ticket to 5 sensational sites in the town.  The ticket price includes the Duomo, Museo dell’Opera, the Baptistry, the Crypt and the Oratorio di San Bernadino, more than enough for a couple of days of excellent viewing.  The ticket last for 3 days, so you have time to see each place well.

the Duomo

I think the Duomo in Siena is one of the most spectacular in Italy. Take the time to look at the incredible facade.

the amazing facade


the facade of the Duomo

 The interior is spectacular.

the interior

 Once inside don’t miss the exquisite Piccolomini library. Be warned, you may never want to leave.

in the Piccolomini Library in the Duomo

 The Duomo is worth the ticket price all by itself. The Baptistry is located below the church. Look for a wonderful set of steps nearby.

the steps from the Duomo to the Baptistry

The Baptistry is beautiful. It is not all that big, but it is full of gorgeous things. 


the ceiling of the Baptistery


the Baptisimal Font in the Baptistry

Photos were not allowed in the Crypt and the Museo dell’Opera, which contains lots of Pisano original sculptures from the Duomo.  These have been removed from the facade of the building to preserve them from the elements.  It is great to be able to see them close up.

The Oratorio is filled with religious art, just in case you haven’t had your fill.  There are also some spectacular views of the Tuscan countryside from the windows of the upper rooms.  The Oratorio is a distance from the other buildings, but it is worth the walk, partly because of all the great things you will see on the way.  Wandering the streets of Siena is a treat not to be missed.


one of the rooms in the Oratorio

in the Oratorio

I also recommend taking the walking tour in Siena. It is great to walk with a local and hear some interesting tales about this incredible city.

The ticket office is beside the Duomo, or at least it was when I was there last. Things change, as does the price occasionally, but this ticket is a bargain. If you only have limited time you could still cover most of these sites in a reasonable time.

Click here to see more on the walking tour, here to see more on the Duomo and here to see more on the Piccolomini Library. There is a category for Siena with more photos of my wanderings over several visits. 


  1. Great post, clear and very useful! Miss you in Bagni di Luca!

    • Have you been to Siena? It is only about a 2 hour drive from Bagni di Lucca, provided you don’t get lost as I did. I will be back in early February.

  2. The photos are so lovely. Thank you.

    • It would be difficult to get a bad shot of the Duomo.

  3. The Duomo looks very beautiful. I think I can spend so much time only for admiring the facade. Let alone when I’m already inside.

    • The Duomo is spectacular inside and out. You could spend hours looking at the facade.

  4. Siena is one of my most favourite places to visit also.
    Your pictures are great

    Pam Proctor

    • Siena is a beautiful city. Fortunately it is not too far from Bagni di Lucca so I can visit often.

  5. I’d love to go there one day… *sigh*

    • You must go to Italy!

  6. When looking at Your photos, I understand clearly why Sienna is one of Yours favorite places to visit. Duomo is so beautiful. I love Your set of photos which presented Sienna in so interesting way.

    • Siena is a gorgeous city. I go as often as I can.

  7. All this for 10 Euro. Freakin bargain. What a life you live Debra. Did I mention I’m jealous lately? I just bought some luggage, how’s about I stash myself in there, pay the excess luggage charge and trip around with you?!
    Have a fabulous weekend.

    • The ticket for the Duomo alone is about 6euro I think, so this is a bargain. It used to be free to enter the Duomo, but if it helps maintain the building I am happy to pay. I’m going back in February in case you want to slide into my luggage.

  8. So beautiful…. as much as in Milan’s too… I love Itailian art,, especially sculptures on the buildings… They are amazing. You really did great shots. Thank you dear Debra, with my love, nia

    • I love the Duomo in Milan as well. I think it is incredible that these buildings are still standing and looking so good.

  9. I nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award, Details are on my homepage!

    • Thank you very much for the thought. I will check it out.

  10. Debra, I haven’t been to Siena in over 4 years, but on the train to Sinalunga I passed through and actually thought to myself that I needed to get myself there again. I have also forgotten how similar the duomos of Orvieto and Siena are. Happy holidays and I hope to see you when we are both back in Italy in February. Great post. Toni

    • The Duomo in Orvieto is another favourite, and you are right, they are similar. I need to get back to Orvieto as well.

  11. Siena is wonderful. And I do miss my coffee with a slice of panforte. A real treat that goes back to the time of the Crusades. It was a way of transporting nutritious food, mainly nuts and honey and feeding the troops. Debra, I am missing Italian coffee, we are currently in San Francisco and, although the city is great, I do not like the American coffee… and it is better not to ask for a cappuccino……

    • Panforte is delicious and eating it is necessary when you go to Siena. I have found good coffee in America, usually at a place run by Italians.

  12. Good God, the architecture leaves me breathless! Where is the “LOVE” button when I want it?

    • I could stand in front of the Duomo for hours, in fact I think I have. It is spectacular.

  13. As always, your photos are spectacular!

    • Thank you! It is easy to get good photos of Siena.

  14. Great tip Deb!

    • No problem. We must go there together one day.

  15. HI! I nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award, Details are on my homepage!

    • Thank you for that. I will check it out.

  16. What a bargain for 10E – great tip! Siena’s Duomo is also one of my favourites and your photos show why perfectly.

    • I think it is a great bargain. It wasn’t advertised well.

  17. Hello Debra
    am loving your daily blogs. Maybe we could catch up for coffee one day when you are back Brissy. LYN

    • I am back in Brisbane now until 5th Feb. I would love to meet for coffee.

  18. Now that is what I call a bargain and a very useful tip. Interesting that the bus is quicker than the train. that’s the sort of information that tourists like me who who only stay a few days would probably not find out. If I ever get back to Italy I will be ransacking your archives for top tips.

    • The local buses are often quicker than the trains and usually drop you closer to the centre of town. The bus from Florence takes the A1 and has no stops. The bus from Florence to Lucca is also quicker than the train. I have spent quite a lot of time making mistakes and going in wrong directions, but I am getting much better at finding my way around.

  19. Siena is certainly a great place to walk around, and walk I did! I walked down those very same steps in your photograph and have almost the same pic of the facade of the Duomo with the very blue sky. I particularly loved sitting in the Piazza del Campo at the time of the passeggiata, watching the SIenese parade by. I do adore Siena and wish I could visit again.

    • The Campo in Siena is gorgeous. I would love to go to the Palio one year.

  20. I love that George and the Dragon, I have a postcard of it somewhere, yellowing and fading from a long ago trip to beautiful Siena. Thanks for sharing these wonderful pics !

    • Siena is a place I never tire of. There is so much to see there.

  21. Love Siena and your photos are lovely! The Piccolomini library took my breath away! And the mosaics on the floor – just wow! We saw a parade when we were there in September, it was a nice treat!

    • You were lucky to see the floor, it is only exposed for about 6 weeks every year. It is usually covered to protect it.

  22. By the way, have you been to the Museum of Torture? We passed by it and were intrigued and grossed out at the same time – haha!

    • I have been passed it but I haven’t ventured in yet.

  23. You run a gorgeous blog, with or without Italian men!

    • Thank you. I am always on the lookout for another Giacosa boy.

  24. Your photos are gorgeous! I would really love to go to Italy one day, it looks so beautiful there and I love Italian food 😀

    • The food is reason enough to go, but there are so many beautiful places to see.

  25. I love the Duomo in Siena, it’s worth the stairs you have to walk to get to it. The whole city is worth a visit, I absolutely enjoyed my time there.

    • I think Siena’s Duomo is one of the most beautiful in Italy.

  26. […] more on Siena click here, here and […]

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